If you’re familiar with any kind of marketing, you may have heard the phrase ‘content is king’. It’s true – content marketing has risen steadily over the last few years to become the prime method of marketing that experts are turning to to connect with new audiences.
In case you’ve missed out on this new marketing revolution, the Content Marketing Institute describes this discipline as ‘a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience’. If you’ve ever read a blog, watched a video or followed a tutorial that was commissioned by a brand, you’ve been impacted by content marketing.
So, now that we know what content marketing is, and what it’s used for. Here’s why it’s the future:
Content marketing signals a move away from conventional advertising
Many people nowadays (especially the younger generation) have been bombarded with advertisements for their whole lives. From TV ads to online banners, it seems that a large number of people are now so accustomed to ads, they can see right through them, or overlook them entirely. How many times have you seen an ad pop up on your screen and you immediately click that “X” in the corner without even attempting to read it first?
The best thing about content marketing is that it doesn’t feel like advertising. It feels more natural and organic, like something you’d choose to read or view, rather than something you’re forced to look at while you’re waiting for the next part of a TV show, or scrolling down a webpage online. Content marketing is more authentic than traditional marketing endeavours, and as a result, potential customers feel much less like they’re being pitched continuously at.
Content marketing gives back to the customer
Another reason why people are less likely to be annoyed with content marketing is because it actually provides them with something useful. Your content may be a helpful blog post or article, providing advice about a particular topic. Or it could be a video tutorial or even a meme. Whether it’s educational or entertaining, if people want to see it, it will prove very successful in content marketing.
Content marketing puts storytelling front and centre
Every marketer worth their salt knows that stories make for great promotional material. Content marketing is all about stories – which is helpful because the human brain is hardwired to remember stories better than it remembers facts. Constructing a narrative around your brand and products allows you to create compelling content which genuinely appeals to people.
Stories also make brands human. One of the most significant problems that some of the most recognisable brands face is being able to shake off that faceless, corporate image that many big companies are saddled with. Storytelling, and by extension, content marketing, helps them break away from that image and become more personable and relatable to consumers.
Anyone can do content marketing
Not all businesses can afford to place an advertisement on television, or in a national newspaper. Not all companies have the budgets to promote posts on social media or put ads on search engines. But all businesses can generate great content, with a little know-how.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be particularly complicated. A well-written company blog, promoted through the right channels, is likely to have a much more significant impact on your target audience than a convoluted PPC campaign. A great, insightful video tutorial for one of your products has more chance of going viral than a standard advertisement. Content marketing puts everyone on a level playing field, regardless of budget or reach, and with more small businesses coming through than ever before, it’s easy to see why content marketing is the future.